Review: Silver Streak (1976)


I always knew Gene Wilder was black, the afro gave it away!

Written By: Colin Higgins
Directed By: Arthur Hiller

Silver Streak isn’t the funniest movie that you will find, as a matter of fact there are stretches where it isn’t funny in the slightest. But, once Richard Pryor gets involved and he starts interacting with Gene Wilder Silver Streak is very funny. It’s not sly or witty, it isn’t subtle humor, it’s comedy done in as simple of a fashion as possible. Place Wilder and Pryor in odd situations and watch the two of them go. If that appeals to you then Silver Streak is your type of comedy, and those two together haven’t always set the screen on fire, but they do appeal to me.

An area where Silver Streak is interesting is in how it attempts to be a minor North By Northwest with it’s murder mystery and wrong man scenario. It’s nowhere near as good as North By Northwest, but it was interesting to see that subject matter taken down a straight comedic path. Another area of interest is the jarring violence. It isn’t that the violence is hard to take, but it comes out of left field every time it occurs. Silver Streak ambles along like a comedy for most of its run time, but randomly out of nowhere an act of violence will occur that is quite jarring. I can see that ruining the flow of the movie for some, although it didn’t bother me that much.

The ending to Silver Streak is preposterous and goes on far too long. But, it’s endemic of the film as whole, even at its most bloated and preposterous Pryor and Wilder are funny and make for a fun picture. Silver Streak isn’t a comedy you need to rush out and see, but it isn’t a comedy that will ruin your life if you partake in it. I had fun with Silver Streak, it is the best I have seen in my limited exposure to the Wilder/Pryor pairing. Give Silver Streak a shot if you stumble across it one night, maybe you will find it funny too.





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